Security company Imperva has announced a software firewall that protects and monitors access to files sitting on network-attached storage (NAS) servers.
The SecureSphere File Firewall, which runs as software on a Windows server, monitors file access using File Activity Monitoring (FAM), which imposes file access restrictions depending on user profile. Access to all files can be used to set off alerts according to these policies.
"Valuable business documents, intellectual property such as software source code, finance spreadsheets, and many other types of data are stored in these files. Yet, businesses today still lack the appropriate tools needed to monitor and secure sensitive file data within their organisation," said Imperva's CTO, Amichai Shulman.
Creating an audit trail of company and user file access was also useful for compliance purposes, Schulman added.
The firewall is part of the company's Data Security Suite.
As useful as file access monitoring sounds, it doesn't on its own overcome the biggest file security hurdle of all, that of deciding which files should be classed as sensitive and who should gain access to them.
The SecureSphere Fire Firewall's first use should be to work out which files are most accessed and what sort of data they contain. Current file access orthodoxy usually maintains that file access happens on a departmental basis. Organisations unwilling to live by this simple dictum need to prepare for a lot of hard work, file firewalling or not.
"By identifying and detailing unusual activity when accessing information, insider threats can be mitigated and advanced threats that have bypassed our traditional security controls can be detected," said Gartner analyst, Neil MacDonald, quoted by Imperva in the official release.